Isaac Zarate Wins Tough Fight in Thompson’s First Card of the Year


Zarate Wins Tough Unanimous Decision

Isaac Zarate 14-3-3 2KO’s battled Tijuana’s Christian Ayala 12-2 4KO’s for eight brutal rounds in the main-event of Thompson Boxing Promotions season opening Path to Glory at the Double-Tree hotel in Ontario, CA. Elevated from the co-main because Erik Ituarte’s opponent failed to make weight, Zarate and Ayala fought a back and forth battle with close rounds and plenty of momentum swings. Leading with right hooks Zarate landed clean combinations early on with good footwork to move out and reset. Ayala turned it up in the middle rounds with volume punching against a tiring Zarate to fire up the crowd. A clash of heads opened a bad cut on the brow of Zarate in the fifth round streaming blood down his face the rest of the fight.

Neither fighter appeared to be seriously hurt by punches but the fast paced fight didn’t lack for action all the way to the final bell. After eight the cards read 78-74 and 77-75 twice for Isaac Zarate, giving the San Pedro fighter a hard fought victory. Thompson Boxing has embraced the era of “live-stream” showing the card online via Facebook to thousands of watchers for free with commentators Beto Duran and Steve Kim interacting with the audience to fuel lively debate and hilarious commentary from fans and broadcasters.

Ruben Villa Beats Sandoval

Salinas, California fan favorite Ruben Villa IV 9-0 4KO’s out-boxed late replacement Juan Sandoval 15-17 5KO’s over six rounds. Villa turned down an opportunity to go the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro to join the paid ranks after making the US team as a 123 pound alternate. Villa has a good boxing IQ and poise taking on tough veteran Sandoval who comes to fight and has enough skill to make the best prospects work hard or go home with their first loss. Using good lateral movement and fast combinations Villa cruised to a unanimous decision victory on scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55.

Ruben Villa

Photo: Cynthia Saldana

Saul Sanchez Gains Experience in Victory

Saul Sanchez 7-0 4KO’s put in a workman-like performance gaining valuable experience against veteran Pedro Melo 17-18-2 8KO’s. Going all four rounds Sanchez landed the better punches and buckled Melo in the final round. Melo’s durability kept him in the fight and even allowed him to hang in and land punches in spots momentarily frustrating the young Sanchez. On scores of 40-36 on all three cards Sanchez notched another win and picked up solid experience.

Saul Sanchez

Photo: Cynthia Saldana

Santa Ana’s Hernandez Blasts Careaga

Santa Ana product Mario Hernandez 5-0 2KO’s wasted no time dispatching Jorge Careaga 1-1 1KO putting him down twice in the first round with hooks to the body. Careaga had nothing to offer as Hernandez bull-dozed him in a quick win that should bring him back quickly.

“Ace” Torres Makes You Want to See Him Again

Ruben “Ace” Torres 4-0 4KO’s flattened Anthony Ruiz 2-5 2KO’s dropping him three times in the second round. Torres’s 5-10 frame at 135 pounds looks reminiscent of Diego Corrales and early on his punching power looks similar also. Ruiz failed to come out for the third round after Torres was docked a point by referee Raul Caiz Jr. for punching while Ruiz was down. After taking a break from boxing to pursue school Torres came back and looked solid, the tall puncher begs another look that should come soon.

Hamazaryan Wins

Zhora Hamazaryan 9-0 6KO’s dropped Sergio Ramirez 3-0 3KO’s of Tijuana once en-route to a unanimous decision on scores of 40-35.

About Albert Baker

Writer/Producer/Director of the Under the Hand Wraps documentary series and owner of Albert Baker is currently based in Fresno, California and has been covering boxing since 2014.

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